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Since 1947, ALA Girls Nation has provided aspiring young women leaders firsthand experience with practical insight into how the federal government works. Two participants per state, known as “senators,” are chosen to represent their respective Girls State programs.
A week is spent creating a mock legislature, submitting bills and resolutions, participating in senate sessions, holding a national convention, and electing officials such as president and vice president. Special field trips include visits to the White House, Arlington National Cemetery, monument tours, and a day on Capitol Hill meeting with state senators and representatives. While the event may happen once in a lifetime, the memories made last a lifetime!
Girls Nation Pledge For God and Country, I promise to give unselfish and constructive cooperation, to share with others the benefits of my experience as a senator of Girls Nation, to participate in the government of my country, state and nation upon reaching my majority, and above all, to constantly exemplify the highest type of Americanism.
The week of government training also features appearances by guest speakers. In a special appearance, Holocaust survivor Nesse Godin, now in her 80s, met with the girls and talked about being imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp at age 13. Then, at age 17, when the war finally ended, she was liberated from captivity, eventually being reunited with her mother, learning of her father’s demise, then setting about rebuilding their lives.
From this unimaginable tragic history, Godin left the girls with a lasting, life-shaping lesson - that hope rises above even the most horrifying experience in life.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) has recognized ALA Girls Nation by placing it on the National Advisory List of Contests and Activities.
Girls Nation was one of the most powerful, formative leadership development experiences of my teenage years. Working together with other young women leaders on prospective legislation sparked in me a keen interest in patriotism." – Kate Kohler, COO & Senior VP | Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation
Special field trips include visits to the White House, Arlington National Cemetery, monument tours, and a day on Capitol Hill meeting with state senators and representatives.
My favorite part of Girls Nation is spending the day on Capitol Hill. It is exciting to recognize in person the faces I see on TV. In the back of my mind is the fact that I am walking where the Founding Fathers walked.”– Jane Thurston, ALA Girls Nation Government Staff
“Girls Nation has embedded, without doubt, an everlasting visage on my heart, for no experience can even compare..." – Siyu Liu, ALA Girls Nation Senator